Ultrasound being used to treat fractures

October 13, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report

(Medical Xpress) -- Ultrasound, the diagnostic tool first developed at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the 1950s to scan the body, is now being used in its fracture clinic to help heal fractured bones and speed up the recovery time.

Similar to the process used on pregnant women to see the fetus, the are used at a different frequency to stimulate production of new and encourage them to mature at a more rapid rate. The waves also help the cells remove bacteria that could lead to a possible infection.

Orthopaedic surgeon Angus MacLean is the lead physician using this technology and recently used it on his patient Gary Denham. Denham had taken a fall from a 20 foot water tank and broke his ankle in eight different places. There was a very good chance that a fracture of this nature would not heal and would require amputation and if it was able to heal it would have been well over a year before he was back on his feet.

Dr. MacLean decided to try out the ultrasound treatment on Dunham. He fitted Dunham with a small that was held in place with a small strap. Gel was placed on the and held in place for 20 minutes. While it causes no pain at all, the ultrasound does its job and stimulates the bone cells. With this treatment, Dunham’s injury healed within four months and he is hoping to be able to return to work after only eight months.

Evidence shows that using ultrasound treatment on fractured bones speeds up the healing process by up to 40 percent.
The current treatment is expensive and is currently only being used to treat complex fractures. The cost of the treatment is expected to drop over time and become a regular part of fracture treatments.

Explore further: Astronauts, sports trainers use ultrasound

Related Stories

Smashing the time it takes to repair our bones

December 4, 2006

New research by Queensland University of Technology is helping scientists better understand how bone cells work and may one day lead to the development of technology that can speed up the time it takes to heal fractured and ...

Cell injections accelerate fracture healing

February 12, 2009

Long bone fractures heal faster after injections of bone-building cells. Research published in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has shown that osteoblast cells cultured from a patient's own bone marrow ...

Ultrasound device improves poor bone healing

October 8, 2010

Ultrasound can speed the healing of fractures. A randomized controlled trial reported in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has found that the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in patients ...

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

Strict diet combats rare progeria aging disorders

August 25, 2016

Mice with a severe aging disease live three times longer if they eat thirty percent less. Moreover, they age much healthier than mice that eat as much as they want. These are findings of a joint study being published today ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bredmond
not rated yet Oct 13, 2011
How well will this work on cartilage or ligaments? Lots of orthopedic injuries out there that would benefit.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.